709 Main Street • Windermere, FL 34786 

The Art Room is proud to feature some of our fantastic students on this page.   These artists have done some outstanding works of Art and we would like to share their successes with you.


Ilene Dym Rand

Ilene loved drawing and painting as a child.  When she was in High School she attended the High School of Art and Design in New York City.  After High School, she decided to go to college for business and gave up Art until 3 years ago when she started taking classes at The Art Room.

Ilene loves exploring all mediums.  She started off taking classes at The Art Room in oils, then added the acrylic classes.  After the first year of painting classes, she discovered the collage classes and absolutely loves that medium.  This session she is taking mosaic and acrylics.  We asked her what her favorite class is and she said, “I cannot pick a favorite…….I love them all!”

Ilene says she is happiest, “when she is creating Art at The Art Room…..almost as happy as being on a cruise!”   Doing Art has taught her to not be afraid to try new things.  Ilene says, “There is always something new and exciting to be experienced when creating Art!


Terri Coombs

Terri Coombs remembers loving art as a small child.  She would make her own paper dolls and cut out their clothes that she had designed herself.   She remembers her mom and dad buying her a drawing board and when she was 11, she won 1st place in a window painting contest for Halloween.

As an adult, Terri enjoys painting in Acrylic, Oil and Watercolor.  She loves the brightness of her acrylic paintings, the blending of colors in oil and the softness of watercolor. 

Terri feels happy when she is painting.  She says that you just forget about the outside world and express your inner personality as you create.  She enjoys coming to The Art Room and learning from the different instructors and painting with fellow artists.

Coming to The Art Room has helped Terri to get through some very difficult situations.  Not only does she draw and paint but she has learned to experience the joy of leaving problems behind as she just enjoys creating with other artists.  She says that everyone should enjoy the experience of painting whether you think you have talent or not.  “Talent is just a word” Terri says.  “To express yourself in art is something anyone can do.  That is definitely the way I feel!



Sarah Medvitz

Sarah’s first memory of art class was when she was in the 2nd grade but it wasn’t until she was an adult that she began painting.  She remembers always enjoying the arts.

Sarah traveled most of her adult life and after she retired, she began to paint some of her many pictures from her travels.  She especially enjoys painting things that she knows and the places she has been.  Sarah uses her own photos when she is deciding what subject she would like to paint.  She has painted her horse and her cat, landscapes from her travels and many interesting subjects that are personal to her.

Sarah enjoys painting in acrylic and oil.  She loves the spontaneity of acrylic paint and the variety of effects and mediums.  She loves the preciseness of oil and that it gives you the opportunity to fix things easily.

At The Art Room, Sarah has many friends and painting companions.  Painting class is social as well as creative for her.  Good friends and creative expression are a great combination!  Sarah says “she always feels energized after her art classes and on through the rest of her day after a morning of painting with her fellow artists!”



Birna Johannsdottir

Birna first began taking art lessons during elementary school when she lived in Iceland.  She remembers drawing shoes and learning how to shade her drawings.  As an adult, she moved to the United States and enrolled her daughter in art classes at The Art Room.  It wasn’t long before Birna began to have a desire to take some art classes herself.

Birna has taken watercolor, oil, collage, drawing and portrait classes at The Art Room.  She enjoys the challenge of the many different techniques of watercolor painting.  She loves the liberating medium of oil painting where she can fix everything easier.  Collage class is a fun group and she enjoys thinking out side of the box and ripping paper and having glue on her fingers.  Drawing and portraits classes have opened her eyes to realize that she “could actually do a good portrait likeness.”

Birna says she feels happy and relaxed when she is doing art.  She really enjoys the connection with other artists at her art classes.  She says “art is like life in that you can always improve on everything you do.”  She enjoys the classes and the workshops because they give her an opportunity to learn new things.

Birna says, “You never know what you are capable of until you try.”


Ruth Hartman

Ruth has always had an appreciation for art.  She attended Interior Design School and loves doing things that are creative.  When she began painting, she found that she really enjoys painting with oil and watercolor.  Ruth likes the challenge of painting with watercolor and the forgiveness of oil.  She loves the soft gentleness of watercolor which is totally different than the opaque beauty of oil.

Ruth feels happy when painting.  When she is painting, she feels joyful yet sometimes very exhausted.  She says, “When you are trying to get something right in a painting, you may need to walk away and then come back and see how to do the next step. It can be very challenging!”

Painting has taught Ruth patience.  She says it helps with other parts of her life too.  “things are not always set in stone……...you can always revisit, rethink, reexamine, and make changes.  That is what I love about Art……...It is one of my favorite things to do!


JUNE 2016
Laura Morgan

In the 8th grade Laura discovered that she had a natural talent for art when her school brought in fabulous guest artists.  She then began taking private lessons in pastel, ink, and drawing as a teenager.
Laura has explored many different media at The Art Room.  She enjoys the oil painting, watercolor, collage, portrait and drawing classes.  We asked her what medium do you enjoy the most and she said, “at this moment I am enjoying the drawing classes.  I am learning a lot of new things that I didn’t previously know and it can transfer in all other areas of my art work.”

Laura enjoys the creative process.  She says “the creative process is so rewarding.  Everything else just melts away.  A lot of satisfaction is found in creating something beautiful.”

When asked what life lessons have you learned by doing your art, Laura said “patience and perseverance is what I’ve learned.  I am a person who struggles with pushing thru challenges and the process of participating in my art forces me to keep moving ahead."


MAY 2016
Jim Fothergill

Jim begin painting when he was 9 years old.  He remembers his mom dragging him to a neighbor’s house where she painted weekly.  This is where he experienced painting in oil for the first time as a young child.

Many years went by before Jim would paint again.  As an adult, his daughter brought him to a workshop at The Art Room.  Jim’s desire to paint was rekindled.  Soon he began taking weekly oil painting classes with his daughter.  He really enjoyed this time shared with his daughter as well as developing his skills as an oil painter.  Jim loves the ‘correctability’ of oil.  You have options as you paint and are able to make changes easier than other mediums. 

Jim has enjoyed combining his love for music and opera with his art.  He will often choose subject matter that inspires him from these venues.  Some of his favorite paintings are his Flamingo Dancer, Tango Dancer, and Ballerina.  Just recently, Jim completed two paintings inspired from the Opera Thaïs. 

Jim says he feels calm when he is painting.  Painting has taught him to “stick to it….struggling through the inevitable issues of a painting is like persevering and overcoming the challenges in life".


MARCH 2016
Sarah Janetzke

Sarah began drawing and painting with us here at The Art Room when she was just 6 years old.  She painted with acrylics until her junior year in high school when she discovered oil painting.  Sarah loves to paint.  She feels calm and happy when she is working on a painting.  She says “Painting is a lot like life.  Sometimes you need to just go with your painting and not fight it.  Just like life, you go with the flow of whatever life throws at you.” 

Sarah will be going to college this fall and will always keep on painting.  She has plans to major in art and then work on her masters in biomedical engineering.   This degree will prepare her to make prosthetics.  “I want to help people and I love Engineering and Art so this is the perfect degree for me”


Joanne Ridge

Joanne has been drawing since she was a child.  She watched her mom take classes when she was growing up and as her own family grew up she began to have time to pursue her art interests.  Four years ago she found The Art Room and began her art journey with us.  Joanne has taken classes in acrylic, watercolor, oil, collage and batik.  She enjoys all the mediums but watercolor is always her favorite.  She says watercolor is a challenge for a literal painter and it keeps her challenged by the many watercolor techniques and the surprises you have when painting with watercolor. 

Joanne appreciates what she sees more since she has become an artist.  “How can I paint that?” she often asks herself.  She relaxes when she is painting.  “I enjoy art because it settles my mind and I enjoy painting at The Art Room with other artist.  That’s part of it…..the people you paint with.  I love to paint and I love The Art Room!


Pia Chavy-Hansen

Pia started painting as a teenager while living in Denmark.  She would attend porcelain painting classes in the evenings and when she moved to Paris she began to take classes in Fashion Design.  Pia always loved art and loved exploring its many expressions.

In 2003, she began taking acrylic painting classes with a French artist and painted in her studio for 2 years. After that, she had the opportunity to participate in the Copyist program at the Louvre in Paris. Painting like the Old Masters with the beautiful blending and smoothness makes Pia very happy.  This was when she developed her love for oil painting.

Pia has discovered a new interest in her collage classes.  She says, ”Collage is fun and enjoying….the process is similar to painting just with a different medium.”

Pia loves coming to The Art Room.  She says it is a blessed moment in her life and she enjoys the classes as well as the workshops.  Pia is an accomplished artist but she says that even when she is not successful at a painting, she is always learning and improving.

“Painting is a moment in time when you do something creative and there is surprise in what comes out…..you doubt yourself….. and then you are happy with what you have accomplished”
Pia Chavy-Hansen


Honey Jean Smoak

Honey Jean began drawing 30 years ago.  Her family saw her talent and encouraged her to go to art classes and they have continued to encourage her in her quest to become a better artist.  Last year, Honey Jean attended the Dan Nelson workshop at The Art Room and her whole artistic world changed.  Dan’s instruction opened a new door and freed her in a number of ways.  Her paintings began to change and she has developed a beautiful style that is recognizably Honey Jean!

Painting and sharing her paintings, is what Honey Jean loves about creating art.  ‘Sharing and seeing someone smile and say they really like a painting is the best pay back for me’. Honey Jean often hides crosses in her paintings.  She teaches her grandchildren that, just like the hidden crosses in her paintings, life’s blessings are hidden and we need to look for them……. “That’s just what motivates me!” says Honey Jean.


Russ Erickson

Russ began painting about 6 years ago.  He knew that there was an artistic vein in his family and wanted to see if he had that sense of creativity, so he and his daughter signed up for a painting class at The Art Room.  After the first session, Russ found that he really enjoyed painting!  Using the creative side of his brain was exciting to him.  He realized that painting was a good outlet to relieve the stress of his very analytical job.  Painting taught Russ to be patient and to persevere.  “Painting is very challenging…..your painting starts looking bad and all of a sudden you turn a corner and suddenly it all comes together!”  It is very exciting!  Russ says he learns something new in each painting but his favorite paintings are his landscapes.

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" I took private lessons using acrylics, watercolors, and charcoal pencils with instructor Linda Ziglar many times.  A year ago, I finished my first detailed acrylic piece of my puppy, Molly, with her and have never received so many compliments!  The instruction was comprehensive, positive and very informative.  Since that time, I have used knowledge gained to start my own business (doing custom animal portraits).  I am 20 and took private lessons many times since my junior year of high school.  The Art Room is a great place to learn, whether young or old.  Would recommend to anyone!"

Amanda Torres

I found the Art Room on line in late August of 2012 and have not skip a beat since. As a beginner painter I realized, within a few weeks of classes, that I had found a teaching studio that delighted in not only helping me learn how to paint, but in my success. The instructors - Linda, Coni and Allison - are skilled artists in their own rights. They are knowledgeable, caring teachers who foster an incredibly positive atmosphere in which to learn, experiment, and create! They infuse laughter and joy into the process of teaching. As a result, the community of artists painting at the Art Room is a community of talented men and women who respect, admire and encourage one another. It is community of many that I now call friend! It is one my favorite places to be! 

Beth Jewett
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